China’s air passenger traffic halved in May from a year earlier as the coronavirus pandemic hampered travel in the country although the pace of decline slowed from the previous month, showing the industry is on track for a gradual recovery.
Air passengers numbered 25.83 million in May, down 52.6% year-on-year, Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) spokesman Xiong Jie told an online news conference on Wednesday. That compared with a 68.5% year-on-year decline in April, when passengers numbered 16.72 million.
In the first five days on June, the average daily numbers of passengers and flights rose to 57.4% and 66.11% of levels seen last year, respectively, with load factors nearing 70%, CAAC said on Saturday.
Beijing is also relaxing its coronavirus-related curbs on international flights, allowing some foreign airlines that are currently barred from operating flights to China one flight a week into the country from June 8.
The CAAC has said it would suspend airlines from services if five or more passengers on a flight tested positive upon arrival.
“In the next step, we will continue to restore some international passenger flights in a steady and orderly way... to further meet the demand from overseas Chinese wishing to return home,” he said.
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